St. John's starting pitcher Kevin Courtney during their victory over...

St. John's starting pitcher Kevin Courtney during their victory over St. Anthony's. (April 3, 2010) Credit: Photo by Lee S. Weissman

Kevin Courtney couldn't have asked for a better start to his season Saturday.

The senior hit a long drive to rightfield in the first inning for a triple, he struck out the side in the fourth inning after hitting the leadoff batter, and he hit a deep shot to center in the fifth for an RBI triple during St. John the Baptist's 6-1 win over host St. Anthony's in a CHSAA game.

But the end of the day wasn't so pleasant for him.

After his fifth-inning triple, Courtney was lying on the ground for several minutes after sliding into third. Moments later, the lefthander walked to the bench with ice and a sling on his right arm.

Courtney separated his shoulder and assistant coach Ralph Dalton went with Courtney to the hospital after the game. Dalton said X-rays revealed no damage and he is expected to miss no more than three weeks.

"I slid over the bag and when I reached back, I twisted my shoulder and it popped out and I dislocated it," Courtney said. "Once it was popped in, it felt better. I just have to rest it."

The Stony Brook-bound Courtney went 10-0 as a sophomore and won the deciding Game 3 of the CHSAA championship. As a junior, he went 6-1 with a 1.14 ERA and batted .515.

Courtney pitched four innings, allowing four hits, two walks, one run and struck out six. He went 2-for-2 with an RBI and intentional walk. Brendan McKnight pitched the final three innings and allowed two hits, one walk, no runs and struck out two.

The Cougars took the lead with a four-run second inning. Joseph DiGiaimo was hit by a pitch with one out and James Manton and Tyler Pope singled to load the bases. Joshua Sharpe drove in a run on a fielder's choice and no out was recorded on the play.

Vincent Iacono lined a 3-and-0 pitch to rightfield for a two-run single and a 3-0 lead.

"I took three balls and I knew the next one was going to be right down the middle," Iacono said. "I got the green light and I just put the bat on the ball."

The fourth run scored when Sharpe stole home and the two trail runners also stole bases as the Friars' Anthony Eichorn was pitching from the windup.

"We're opportunistic," SJB coach John Habyan said. "We saw a chance there."

St. Anthony's had at least one baserunner in every inning except the seventh. Its lone run came in the third on an infield single by Nick Flynn to score Ryan Cacchioli, who led off with a triple. But the Friars had a rally cut short when a runner was picked off and also had a runner caught stealing third to end the second.

"We only put a few balls on the ground and struck out eight times," St. Anthony's coach Jon LaRochester said. "We didn't put any pressure on their defense. We didn't play a poor game. We need to work on getting that two-out hit and battling with two strikes and getting the bunt when you need to."

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